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Submarine Alert


From IMDB: Nazi spies use a stolen shortwave transmitter prototype to broadcast top secret shipping info to an offshore Japanese sub. To nab the spy ring, the Government has the West Coast's top radio engineers fired and shadowed to see if the Nazis recruit them to complete work on the prototype radio. Radio engineer Lew Deerhold, a resident alien without a job to pay for his adorable little ward Gina's life-saving operation, falls prey to the spy ring, and is swept up in a maelstrom of deceit and danger.

Submarine Alert (1943) is an American film directed by Frank McDonald (director), produced by Pine-Thomas Productions and released by Paramount Pictures. The film was the last in a series of three Pine-Thomas adventure films that included Forced Landing (film) (1941) and Flying Blind (film) (1941). The film stars Richard Arlen, Wendy Barrie, Nils Asther, Roger Pryor, Marc Lawrence and Ralph Sanford.


During World War II, with shipping being sunk by submarines and with an American scientist working on radio technology killed by Nazi spies, Federal Bureau of Investigation agent G. B. Fleming (Roger Pryor) comes up with a plan to catch the Nazis. He believes that radio signals are alerting the Germans about ship movements. His plan is to fire all the local radio specialists, who likely will seek any employment, including working with the enemy. Tailing the jobless radio men will help the FBI find the Nazis.
Engineer Lewis J. "Lew" Deerhold (Richard Arlen) thinks he lost his job because he is a Canadian citizen. Lew looks after his niece Tina (Patsy Nash), a war orphan requiring a brain operation. Needing money, he applies for work at a radio repair shop, where he meets Ann Patterson (Wendy Barrie), the victim of a purse snatching. Lew recovers her purse and asks Ann out on a date.
After coming back to his apartment, his new boss is there with Dr. Arthur Huneker (Nils Asther) and his assistant Vincent Bela (Marc Lawrence). Lew is offered a job by Huneker, a Nazi spy commander who needs someone to repair a top-secret stolen radio transmitter. Ann is an FBI agent who has been assigned to follow Lew. She finds blueprints to the transmitter in Lew's possession. When FBI agent Freddie Grayson (Ralph Sanford) searches Lew's apartment, he is shot but is able to tell Lew that the doctor has the stolen transmitter and shot him.
Lew confronts Huneker, who is meeting with Japanese Commander Toyo (Abner Biberman). The pair try to convince Lew to join the Nazi party; he pretends to go along. When they begin to torture the owner of the Bambridge shipping company (John Miljan), their new recruit is ordered to kill Bambridge, who is actually Captain Hargas, an American agent. Instead, Lew escapes, taking with him the codes for the transmitter.
At the doctor's hot springs resort, Lew and Ann join forces, but are captured and locked in a steam room by Huneker. Before they are killed by the steam, Lew devises a transmitter and sends an SOS that is picked up by a young boy whose father calls the FBI. FBI agents rush to save Lew and Ann, and arrest Huneker and his men. Agent Fleming also contacts a bomber squadron that destroys the Japanese submarine laying in wait off the California coast. With his niece Tina recovered from her operation, and Ann in attendance, Lew, now a private in the US Army, is granted American citizenship.


  • Richard Arlen as Lewis J. "Lew" Deerhold
  • Wendy Barrie as FBI Agent Ann Patterson
  • Nils Asther as Dr. Arthur Huneker
  • Roger Pryor as G.B. Fleming
  • Abner Biberman as Commander Toyo
  • Marc Lawrence as Vincent Bela
  • John Miljan as Mr. Bambridge / Capt. Haigas
  • Patsy Nash as Tina Deerhold
  • Ralph Sanford as FBI Agent Freddie Grayson


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Principal photography for Submarine Alert took place from June 1 to mid-June 1942 at the Reliance-Majestic Studios, Hollywood, California.




  • Hyams, Jay. War Movies. New York: W.H. Smith Publishers, Inc., 1984. ISBN 978-0-8317-9304-3.
  • Koppes, Clayton R. and Gregory D. Black. Hollywood Goes to War: How Politics, Profits and Propaganda Shaped World War II Movies. New York, The Free Press, 1987. ISBN 0-02-903550-3.

Category:1943 films
Category:American films
Category:American spy films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:English-language films
Category:Films directed by Frank McDonald
Category:Paramount Pictures films
Category:World War II films made in wartime
Category:World War II spy films
William H. Pine ; William C. Thomas

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